Remains ID’d as Paige Birgfeld’s

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Paige Birgfeld’s remains have been found.

Less than 24 hours after the recovery of a near full human skeleton in north Delta County, dental records today were used to make a tentative identification of Birgfeld, 34, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department announced this afternoon. A DNA comparison has been requested through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to confirm the results, while the remains will be turned over to a forensic anthropologist toward determining any evidence of trauma, the Sheriff’s Department said.

“Other personal items were found along with the remains and will be considered for DNA testing based on past successes with trace evidence,” the release said.

Investigators continue to search the area where the body was found for additional clues. Birgfeld’s case has been classified as a homicide, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The skeleton was discovered by hikers Tuesday around 12:30 p.m. in a dry creek bed near near the Mesa-Delta county lines. The discovery was made approximately one mile east of U.S. Highway 50 on Wells Gulch Road, which is roughly 17 miles north of Delta.

Birgfeld, a mother of three children who led a double life running her own escort service, was last heard from June 28, 2007, returning to Grand Junction from Eagle.  Her car was found burning the night of July 1, 2007, in a parking lot at 727 23 Road.  Bloodhounds tracked a scent south from the parking lot at 23 Road, leading to Bob Scott’s RV service facility, 2302 Grand Park Dr, at the time the employer of Lester Ralph Jones, 60.

Jones remains the lone named suspect in Birgfeld’s disappearance.

Extensive search efforts in 2007 focused south of Grand Junction along U.S. Highway 50, covering a sizable stretch of land on both sides of the highway.

“I became sick to my stomach,” Connie Flukey said of her reaction upon hearing Tuesday’s news of remains near the county lines. Director of the Jennifer-Abby Recovery Foundation, Flukey’s organization spearheaded extensive search efforts in 2007 in Birgfeld’s case.

Read the full story in Thursday’s Daily Sentinel.


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